port·​fo·​lio | \ pȯrt-ˈfō-lē-ˌō How to pronounce portfolio (audio) \
plural portfolios

Definition of portfolio

1 : a hinged cover or flexible case for carrying loose papers, pictures, or pamphlets
2 [ from the use of such a case to carry documents of state ] : the office and functions of a minister of state or member of a cabinet
3 : the securities held by an investor : the commercial paper held by a financial house (such as a bank)
4 : a set of pictures (such as drawings or photographs) usually bound in book form or loose in a folder
5 : a selection of a student's work (such as papers and tests) compiled over a period of time and used for assessing performance or progress

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Did You Know?

Portfolio is partly based on the Latin folium, meaning "leaf, sheet". A portfolio usually represents a portable showcase of your talents. Today actual portfolios are used less than they used to be by artists, since most commercial artists have a Web site dedicated to showing off their art. But portfolio in its other common meaning is extremely common. Not so long ago, a broker would keep each of his or her clients' investments in a separate notebook or portfolio. Today the investment portfolio, like an artist's portfolio, usually takes the form of a Web page, even though everyone still uses the same old word.

Examples of portfolio in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

First place, General commentary portfolio: Haley Correll. Nola.com | The Times-picayune, nola.com, "NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune wins 11 awards in national features journalism contest," 26 June 2019 But eleventh grade was too late to adopt the praxis of art and create a portfolio adequate to gain admission to some kind of secular-humanist academy. Nell Zink, Harper's magazine, "Marmalade Sky," 24 June 2019 This time, the legislature gave the gaming board an $8 million budget increase, plus as much as $20 million in additional funding to handle its growing portfolio, which now includes sports gambling, six new casinos and racinos. Jason Grotto, ProPublica, "Illinois Is Poised to Become the Gambling Capital of the Midwest," 10 June 2019 In addition to the financial donation, LVMH also pledged the assistance and aid of its entire portfolio, which includes Louis Vuitton, Dior, Fendi, Celine, Loewe, and Marc Jacobs. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Fashion Luxury Groups, Kering and LVMH, Pledge Combined 300 Million Euros to Repair Notre Dame," 16 Apr. 2019 While on-set for Carine Roitfeld's 'Stardust' portfolio, Hailey Bieber, Taylor Hill, Winnie Harlow, and more top models talk about their first (and worst) kiss, sweet relationship moments, and all things romance. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Hailey Bieber, Winnie Harlow, & More Top Models Share Their First Kiss Stories," 14 Feb. 2019 On an annual basis, these fees generally shouldn’t add up to more than 0.25 percent of your portfolio. Bruce Helmer And Peg Webb, Twin Cities, "Your Money: 3 tips for getting the most out of your financial adviser," 29 June 2019 That may have contributed to its swift demise, according to John Spallanzani, portfolio manager at Miller Value Partners. Vildana Hajric, latimes.com, "Bitcoin’s mega gain almost vanishes — just as swiftly as it appeared," 27 June 2019 Those gains offset declines in other parts of his portfolio. Shahien Nasiripour And Caleb Melby, sun-sentinel.com, "Trump’s net worth rises to $3 billion despite setbacks, including reduction in Mar-a-Lago business," 12 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'portfolio.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of portfolio

1713, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for portfolio

Italian portafoglio, from portare to carry (from Latin) + foglio leaf, sheet, from Latin folium — more at blade

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Statistics for portfolio

Last Updated

17 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for portfolio

The first known use of portfolio was in 1713

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More Definitions for portfolio



English Language Learners Definition of portfolio

: a flat case for carrying documents or drawings
: a set of drawings, paintings, or photographs that are presented together in a folder
finance : the investments that are owned by a person or organization


port·​fo·​lio | \ pȯrt-ˈfō-lē-ˌō How to pronounce portfolio (audio) \
plural portfolios

Kids Definition of portfolio

1 : a flat case for carrying papers or drawings
2 : a collection of art (as paintings) presented together in a folder


port·​fo·​lio | \ pōrt-ˈfō-lē-ō How to pronounce portfolio (audio) \

Legal Definition of portfolio

: the securities held by an investor : the commercial paper held by a financial institution (as a bank)

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More from Merriam-Webster on portfolio

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with portfolio

Spanish Central: Translation of portfolio

Nglish: Translation of portfolio for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of portfolio for Arabic Speakers

Comments on portfolio

What made you want to look up portfolio? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to form ideas or theories about something

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